| Every organization has those special people
that make it work well, whose participation and knowledge make
being a part of that organization worthwhile. Daphne Dorney was
one of those people for the Western Horticultural Society.
|| Her knowledge of horticulture was extensive.
Born and raised in England, it almost seems a given that plants
would be part of her life's blood. She gardened all her life
but really delved into it heart and soul after her retirement
from Hewlett Packard. Her love of gardening and plants in general
led her to explore and try anything that captured her fancy.
Daphne's interests were varied but concentrated on drought
tolerant plants. No nursery went unnoticed. She had many South
African, Mediterranean, Californian, Australian, and New Zealand
plants scattered around her yard. Her love of birds meant plants
with berries and flowers to attract them were well placed, so
she could observe them from the house. She would sit on her back
patio and watch the birds come and go, sharing with great glee
her various bird sightings with friends.
Not to forget her English roots, scattered throughout the
garden were a few plants that would remind her of her native
home: some Clematis, Fuchsias, a few perennials, and the Rose
'Kathleen', which was her mother's name.
Her plant collection was not limited to the outdoors. Indoors
she had many plants as well and variegated foliage was a favorite.
In recent years she had become interested in orchids, mainly
Phalaenopsis. She delighted in rescuing a sorry-looking plant
from the supermarket and getting it to thrive, then watched it
bloom for weeks on end. She always commented this was such a
great deal compared to cut flowers!
Daphne enjoyed being outdoors. She hiked with a group of people
twice a week for well over 20 years and was the unofficial botanist
for the group, always pointing out this wild flower or that plant,
to everyone's great interest. They hiked all over the Bay Area
and beyond. Her hiking trips also led her to many places within
the United States and elsewhere. Elder Hostel trips proved a
All of Daphne's interests made her a wonderful asset to Western
Hort. Being one to participate, and having been a member for
so many years, she was always there to volunteer for any event
Western Hort sponsored. She served on the board as Secretary
under Mary Kay's Presidency, helped construct and staff the garden
vignette at the San Francisco Flower and Garden show for many
years, helped with the holiday potluck and field trips, contributed
many plants to the raffle table, and brought things to share
at the plant discussion.
It is always a sad day when the Western Horticultural Society
loses a member as treasured as Daphne. Yet her enthusiasm for
horticulture is something that we all share, and in that we carry
on her love of all things that grow!